Looking to make a long run in the playoffs, the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit received a nice surprise early last week as the New York Islanders returned defenceman Bode Wilde to the team to finish the season.
Wilde had spent much of this season with the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, prior to being sent back.
In 20 games with the Sound Tigers, Wilde had a pair of assists.
In his first game back with the Spirit, Wilde had a goal in a 7-5 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Wednesday and has three points in three games with Saginaw, which includes a two-assist performance Saturday against the Kitchener Rangers.
Following Saginaw’s first game with Wilde back in the lineup, coach Chris Lazary said, “We didn’t know what to expect with Bode back. Sometimes when a guy like him comes back, everyone thinks they can work a little bit less because he’s so good, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Lazary went on to say that the game was a lesson for the Spirit players as well.
Lazary was happy with the early effort of Wilde in his return and expects more as the blue-liner readjusts to playing junior hockey.
“He’s excited to be back,” Lazary said. “It’s going to take him some time. It’s going to take him four or five games (to get adjusted). He knows that.
“He’ll settle in and he’ll dominate.”
While Wilde was getting readjusted to life in the OHL, Alexis Lafreniere of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski Oceanic continued to give goaltenders nightmares.
The top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft put up seven points — on national TV no less — in a Sunday afternoon win over the Quebec Remparts in Rimouski.
Lafreniere finished the day with a goal and six assists in an 11-2 win to move within one point of 100 on the season.
In the midst of a huge season offensively, Lafreniere has 25 multi-point games. Of those 25 games, he’s posted four points or more in nine of them.
With numbers like his, it’s not hard to see why he’s considered the top prospect available for 2020.
The Minnesota Wild have to be pleased with the offensive development of winger Adam Beckman this year with the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.
With a month to go in the regular season, Beckman looks to be a lock to hit 100 points.
Beckman has already set career-highs in goals (41), assists (51) and points (92).
The second-year forward is riding a nine-game point streak in which he has 21 points. He has also been held off the scoresheet just once since the calendar turned to 2020.
Since a scoreless game on Dec. 6 against the Vancouver Giants, Beckman has 28 goals and 54 points in 28 games. To put that stretch further into perspective, in 68 games last season as a rookie with the Chiefs, Beckman had 32 goals and 62 points.